Error count kills Marr as we shoot ourselves in the foot
By Gregor Ness
2 points salvaged at Jed after a 2nd half collapse
The 1s visit to Riverside Park to play Jed-Forest was the proverbial game of two halves. Leading 7 – 10 at the beak, despite playing a man short after a yellow card, Marr appeared to have a reasonable hold on the match with slight dominance in the pack, especially at the set piece. However things started to unravel as the home side shifted up a gear and landed three tries in quick succession, with two coming from unforced Marr errors where they lost possession and were punished by Jed’s back’s electric pace and evasive running. Going into the final five minutes of the match Marr trailed 29 – 10 but in an explosive finale Marr’s never give up attitude was rewarded as they added two tries and a conversion to salvage two bonus points.
Marr started the match well and had several good attacking opportunities but these were thwarted by a combination of solid defence and/or offloads in contact or final passes not quite going to hand. Jed-Forest were always dangerous on the counterattack and opened the scoring following a defensive breakout. Marr countered with a try from Ross Miller who scored off a rolling maul from a close range attacking lineout. On the half hour Liam McLoughlin added a second with a good solo effort. He latched on to a mistake by Jed, as they attacked in Marr’s half, to collect a loose ball and chip it deep into Jed territory and raced on beating their pacey defenders over a 60 metre foot race hacking on before gathering and scoring in the corner.
Jed opened the scoring in the second half as they pounced on a mistake by Marr, who were attacking close to Jed’s line, to gain possession and take play to the other end of the pitch and score a try. Over the next thirty minutes Jed continued to dominate and the Young brothers were in their element as they exposed and exploited any sign of a gap in Marr’s defence. Three tries were added with one of these coming from a breakout from deep defence as Marr again failed to finish off from a good attacking position and lost possession.
As the match drew to a close Marr finally manged to get themselves together in a more cohesive way. Replacements Fraser Grant and Mackenzie Pearce added new energy and Grant was on the end of a scoring pass as he powered his way into the scorner to touch down. From the restart Jed tried to close the match out but Marr’s determination was rewarded with a penalty and they took play back into Jed’s half. Some frenetic but determined play followed and in a final act Marr’s Ben Johnston broke through several tackles to score the bonus point try. Liam McLoughlin converted to bring Marr the losing bonus. In the final play Jed nervously clung to close the game out on as Marr tried to win possession and cause an upset.
The final whistle brought relief to Jed and frustration to Marr who knew they could have and should have done better.
Marr Rugby 1st XV man of the match – Ben Johnston
Marr Rugby 1st XV scorers
Tries: Ross Miller; Liam McLoughlin; Fraser Grant and Ben Johnston
Conversions: Liam McLoughlin